July saw output from car manufacturing rise for the third successive month, according to new figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

The news has fuelled hopes that the sector is recovering from the supply shortages and Covid-related issues that have affected it for over two and a half years.

Production of new vehicles increased by 8.6% to 58,043 units in July, with over 4,600 more new cars rolling off factory floors than in June. However, car output is still well down on where it would normally be. Production is 16.5% lower than the same month in 2021, and still down by 46% on pre-pandemic levels.

“A third consecutive month of growth for UK car production is welcome and gives some hope that the supply chain issues blighting the sector may finally be starting to ease,” said SMMT’s chief executive Mike Hawes. “But other challenges remain, not least energy costs which are increasing at alarming rates.”

“If we are to attract much needed investment to drive the production of zero emission vehicles, urgent action is needed to mitigate these costs to make the UK more competitive for manufacturing. This must be a priority for the next Prime Minister else we will fall further behind our global rivals, risking jobs and economic growth,” said Hawes.